#MyCar2015 - Importing from the UK - guide to securing the best deal
THE knock-on effect of the economic crash is felt hardest in the second hand car market.
New car sales literally fell off the face of a cliff in 2008 as the property bubble well and truly burst.
Couple that with the July launch of the emission-based VRT and road tax and we pretty much had the perfect storm.
Road tax on some models ballooned to as much as €2,000 while iconic cars like the Mazda RX8 were no longer offered for sale in Ireland.
New car sales in 2009 were dismal too and more and more punters looked to the UK to source cheap, well maintained used cars.
The lower the CO2s the less import duty you paid so a handful of makes proved very popular.
Among these were diesel Golfs, Passats, Audi A4s and the mighty Ford Focus.
It wasn't all plain sailing though and I personally know of people who bought clocked and damaged cars.
So how do you avoid the same thing happening to you?
Firstly get a HPI check which costs around €30 and is a comprehensive report which will tell you whether the car is stolen, has been damaged/written off, has outstanding finance on it and most importantly - the correct mileage.
You can also do a bit of snooping yourself by entering the registration into the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) website which should record the mileage from the car's most recent MOT.
After that it's best to source a former fleet car (lease car) because it will come with an extensive service history (the car is maintained by the hire firm not the driver) down to tyres and wiper blades.
Double check that the emissions on the logbook corresposnd the model and spec on the car.
A prime example of this is the extra costs incured for an automatic gearbox.
Finally you can have the car inspected by the AA or the RAC on your behalf (see websites for details).
But with the exchange rate at its worst in 20 years it's probably best to wait a while.